Industry Briefs

Texaco Inc. has agreed to pay $43 million to settle charges by several whistleblowers that the firm underpaid royalties due on crude oil drilled from federal and Indian leases, The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday. The settlement covers underpayments from January 1980 to through December 1998. Two former Atlantic Richfield Co. marketing managers brought the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Lufkin, TX, and will receive part of the Texaco settlement. The settlement agreement was signed by representatives of several Indian tribes, as well as the federal government. The government has reached similar settlements on royalty underpayments with Mobil, Occidental Petroleum, Chevron, BP Amoco, Conoco, Devon Energy, Union Pacific Resources and Sunoco.

Alliance Pipeline said it received notice from both the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that its tariffs have been accepted as filed. Alliance currently expects that its in-service date will be Oct. 30. "On Oct. 9 we plan to begin operation of the electronic systems which implement the various business procedures outlined in the tariffs. At that time, Alliance will facilitate capacity release and assignment transactions for our shippers, with full nomination procedures being implemented on our in-service date," said Jack Crawford, vice president of public, government and regulatory affairs. Alliance is designed to deliver 1.325 Bcf/d of gas from the gas producing regions of northeastern British Columbia and northwestern Alberta to the Chicago, IL, area where it interconnects with the North American pipeline grid.

Five former energy trading executives from Avista Energy and Vitol Gas & Electric have formed Derigen Consulting to offer the energy trading industry "expert level consulting and software development Services." Heading up the firm is Jeffrey MacInnis, formerly the CIO for Avista Energy. Other founding members include Peter Siciliano, previously Avista's vice president/controller; Robert Jacobs, formerly he was the position manager for Avista and head gas trader for Vitol; Michael Mudge, former senior oracle DBA and project manager with Avista; and Suzanne Carroll, who used to be the director of contracts administration for Vitol Gas & Electric. "We formed Derigen in order to offer the energy trading industry management services that provide the same stable and trusted policies that we developed to navigate Vitol Gas & Electric," said Jacobs, vice president consulting services. To learn more about Derigen, visit its web site at www.derigen.com.

Austin, TX-based Southern Union Co. yesterday completed its mergers with Providence Energy Corp. and Fall River Gas Co. It completed its merger with Valley Resources Inc. on Sept. 20. The three mergers, which first became public a year ago (see Daily GPI, Sept. 13, 1999), increase the company's New England division to nearly 300,000 customers. Providence Energy shareholders will receive $42.50 cash for each share of common stock they own, while Fall River Gas customers will receive the equivalent of $23.50 per common share in cash and/or Southern union common stock. Southern Union now serves nearly 1.6 million customers in Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Florida and Mexico. Its natural gas operating divisions include Southern Union Gas, Missouri Gas energy, PG Energy, Atlantic Utilities and the New England division.

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